Mohamed Soltan falls unconscious on 281st day of hunger strike
Courtesy: April 6 Youth Movement's Facebook page

Detainee Mohamed Soltan fell unconscious on Monday, the 281st day of his hunger strike, according a statement posted to the Free Soltan Facebook page.

He has been transferred to the prison’s intensive care unit, said the statement.

Sarah Mohamed, a relative and spokesperson for the campaign for his release, told the privately owned newspaper Daily News Egypt that fellow detainees witnessed Soltan being rushed out of his cell to receive urgent medical care.

Mohamed castigated the prison’s administration for deliberately neglecting Soltan’s health, accusing them of bearing the responsibility for his current condition, according to a statement published on the Freedom for the Brave Facebook page.

A US-Egyptian citizen, Soltan is the longest hunger-striking detainee in Egypt. His health has been deteriorating for months, but according to family he has received little medical care.

It was previously reported that Soltan recently developed several blue marks under his skin, a sign of internal bleeding.

In September, Amnesty International condemned Soltan’s treatment and warned that he was in critical condition. If Soltan was not transferred to a hospital soon, he was at risk of organ failure. However, Soltan was instead consistently denied medical care and placed into solitary confinement when he was in need of medical attention, the report claimed.

On Wednesday, the Cairo Criminal Court rejected the US State Department’s appeal for Soltan’s release. The presiding judge ruled that accepting the proposal would be tantamount to allowing external forces to interfere in the Egyptian judiciary.

However, the State Department insisted that filing the request was a humanitarian measure, not a political statement, the state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported.

Unable to walk in his weakened condition, Soltan has attended his most recent court sessions on a gurney, and was admitted to the prison hospital in the end of October. 

Soltan is the son of the prominent Muslim Brotherhood leader Salah Soltan. He was arrested on August 25 with along with several friends when the police raided his home in search of his father.

He was charged with belonging to a terrorist organization and conspiring to overthrow the regime. Soltan and 52 other defendants are also charged with setting up an operations room to sow chaos throughout the country during and after the pro-Brotherhood Rabea al-Adaweya sit-in in August 2013.

Soltan’s trial has been repeatedly adjourned. The next session is currently scheduled for for November 5. 


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